They’re Here as Part of a Special Birthday Collaboration
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania just announced two new playable characters, but their identities might take you by surprise. We all know that Sonic the Hedgehog is still one of Sega’s biggest franchises after all these years. We still didn’t expect to see Sonic and Tails pop up in Super Monkey Ball.
This crossover may be unexpected and even unintuitive to fans–after all, Super Monkey Ball is a franchise that requires careful aim and precision timing more than high-speed platforming. Is Sonic even Sonic if he can’t truly go fast? However, if this short trailer is anything to go by, he and Tails will fit right in.
The 30-second-long video starts by making it clear that Sonic and Tails are showing up in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania as part of a collaboration to celebrate two important anniversaries–namely, Super Monkey Ball’s 20th anniversary and Sonic the Hedgehog’s 30th anniversary. It then transitions into a parody of the iconic menu screen of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, featuring 3D models of Sonic and Tails that look a little like action figures.
Next up are a few clips of gameplay focusing on both Sonic and Tails, who really look like Japanese Gashapon figures–those little collectible toys that come in capsules from vending machine-like dispensers–in their balls. They still use their iconic running animations inside the balls, which is a nice touch.
Both characters will be unlockable through normal play and you’ll be able to use them in all of Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania’s levels–yes, all 300+ of them. And they’re not the only guest stars, either.
Also featuring in Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is Beat from Jet Set Radio–not to be confused with Beat from the sequel/remake/reboot/what have you Jet Set Radio Future–who has a rather more stylized appearance. It’s difficult to transport a human character with more realistic proportions into the world of Super Monkey Ball, so Beat’s model is taking on a super-deformed chibi style. Another short trailer dedicated to him suggests that he’ll be gathering spray cans instead of bananas. Exactly what the rogue, roller-blading graffiti artist ordered.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania will be available for PS4 and PS5 on October 5th, 2021.